Tips for Protecting Pets this July Fourth

More than just the heat can be harmful to your pet during the summer. Memorial Day, Labor Day and the Fourth of July are the top three holidays for pet emergencies because of outdoor activities where pets run loose. Firecrackers, with their loud, startling and scary noises, can also be harmful to your pets’ well being. And Texas summers bring brutally hot conditions. The SPCA of Texas recommends these tips to make your pets’ Fourth of July a safe one:

 

  • Keep your pets indoors with the air conditioner running and the windows closed or keep a radio on to help mask out as much noise as possible. Also try distracting them: follow their regular routine, play with them or crate them up until the fireworks are over. Make sure they have current tags and a microchip to ensure their safe return should they bolt out of fear.
  • Heat is another reason to keep your pets indoors this summer. Also, be sure your pet has access to cool water at all times and never leave pets in parked vehicles.
  • Be aware of neighborhood pranksters throwing firecrackers over your fence to frighten your pet. Also be careful using sparklers, as they can burn animals as well as people.
  • Allow your pets the freedom to seek refuge under the bed, behind the toilet or in the back of the closet. This may soothe them more than cuddling with them.
  • Your dog may not want to accompany you to the local fireworks extravaganza. He may prefer some nice quiet time in your lap after everything is over. Also, during the festivities, keep your dog busy with chew toys.
  • If your pet gets especially stressed or your neighborhood is particularly noisy, you may wish to talk to your veterinarian about the practicality of using tranquilizers or homeopathic remedies. Consider sending your pet to a nice quiet boarding kennel for the worst of it.
  • Even if the proper precautions are taken, some animals may develop deeply rooted fears of loud noises after fireworks displays or thunderstorms. Commonly seen effects include: shaking; trembling; excessive drooling; barking; howling; trying to hide or get into or out of the house, fence, or other enclosure; refusing to eat food; loss of bladder or bowel control or temporary diarrhea.
  • The best way to treat this problem is through preventive conditioning, the process of desensitizing an animal to loud noises. Start by introducing your puppy or kitten to loud noises such as handclaps when they are relatively young. As the animal grows, softly bang pots and pans together and escalate the noise. Soon your dog or cat will not be traumatized by loud noises.

This Independence Day, keep your beloved companion animals indoors where it is safe.

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Jose

SPCA of Texas Voices

"I'm absolutely in LOVE with Kitty (formerly Kaleigh). I know her name isn't original at all but I just started calling her that until I could think of a name and it just stuck - it's so her! I've attached two photos - she's seriously the most beautiful kitty in the world! She loves to steal tennis balls and bones from her dog sister - she thinks she's a dog! She enjoys going for walks and car rides, snuggling with mom, bird watching, drinking from the sink, playing with her pipe cleaners and getting into mom's makeup in the mornings. I couldn't 'imagine life without her. She's the absolute best!"

Laureen Jankins

Pet Owner